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PHOTOS: Cole Bros' Elephants Enjoy a Bath

The Cole Brother’s 'Circus of the Stars' is from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday

As two elephants walked to the parking lot of the Jones Road soccer fields, one grabbed hold of the other's tail.

Chang and Lulu, elephants from the Cole Brothers circus, basked as members of the hosed them down on Saturday morning, opening their mouths wide to get a drink.

“It was awesome,” said James Ivins of the Forked River Fire Company. “I’ve never been that close to an elephant before. I’m a 45-year-old kid.”

Chang laid down as if he were taking a break from the active lifestyle of show business. He would later be performing for Jersey Shore residents.

This is the second year the Forked River Fire Company partnered with Cole Brothers for a fundraiser.

President Jim Granato had found a letter from the circus company two years ago and thought the partnership could really benefit the fire company.

The fire company sells tickets at the department two weeks prior to the show, receiving a portion of the proceeds. Last year, the company earned approximately $7,000.

“It’s a win-win,” Granato said. “It helps us. Everyone who went last year enjoyed it.”

Prior to heading back to the Cole Brothers’ tent to prepare for the big day, Chang and Lulu were fed dozens of apples. 

The tips of their trunks grabbed the apples like a vacuum. They then curled their trunks to toss the apple in their mouths and swallowed the fruit whole, one after another. Chang and Lulu’s trunks went from person to person looking for more. 

The Cole Brothers “Circus of the Stars” is from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

The show features the elephants, tigers, French poodles, springboard gymnasts, a Russian Barre routine, a magician, the human cannonball, clowns and more.

kevin sullivan August 04, 2012 at 08:03 PM
funny i just drove by their set up and i didnt see elephants enjoying a bath . the temp today was brutal in the 90s with hig humidity. i doubt after this photo op by lacey fd these animals were shoved back into their crates .to partner with a misery for money circus like this is truly inhumane. just google " cole bros circus violations" and you will see numerous violations including denying vet care for their elephants including two who were very underweight , , inadequate ventilation and water. as well as selling tigers without a license. they just settled with the usda in june for $15,000 for animal cruelty charges. the sad thing is the people who will go see this have no idea of what goes on behind the scenes with bullhooks etc. cole bros is smart they keep all their animals in the back far from view to avoid even more violations.
BanCircusAnimals August 04, 2012 at 08:10 PM
In July of 2011 the USDA filed charges against the Cole Bros. Circus for numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act including “failure to provide veterinary care to an emaciated elephant, failure to handle an elephant in a way that minimized the risk of harm to the public and the elephant, handlers who lacked the training and knowledge to handle tigers and elephants in public, and selling tigers without a dealer license.” These violations should have resulted in a substantial fine, but on April 9, 2012, Cole Bros. reached a $15,000 settlement with the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. As of February 2008, Cole Bros. no longer has its own USDA license and leases animal acts from other circuses, including Carson & Barnes Circus which the USDA fined for elephant abuse after employees were caught on videotape beating elephants with bullhooks and shocking them with electric prods. Many of the animal acts used by Cole Bros. have been cited by the USDA for numerous violations including failing to provide veterinary care. In 2011, Cole Bros. and its president pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act by illegally selling two Asian elephants and were sentenced to probation and ordered to pay more than $150,000 in fines. The current elephant "handler/trainer" with Cole Brothers is Tim Frisco. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ulw7RtZoao Cole Brothers Fact Sheet: http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/PDF/Cole_Bros_Circus_Factsheet.pdf
BanCircusAnimals August 04, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Animals in circuses and traveling shows suffer horrific abuse, cruelty, neglect and exploitation. Magnificent big cats like lions and tigers are housed in cramped cages, majestic elephants are shackled and chained in trucks and train box cars; “training” methods utilize violence, fear, and intimidation to make animals perform ridiculous unnatural stunts. Not only is the physical abuse appalling, but the deprivation of any natural behaviors, choices and instincts is cruel. Countries around the world, as well as municipalities in the United States, have partial or full bans on circus animals. On November 2, 2011, Congressman Jim Moran introduced The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, H.R. 3359, a bill that is extremely vital to the lives of these animals, to ending this cruelty and ensuring the safety of the public. This federal bill would amend the A.W.A. to restrict the use of exotic and non-domesticated animals in circuses and traveling shows. http://breakthechainus.com/ The overwhelming evidence and documentation of the abuse animals endure in circuses is irrefutable. The more knowledgeable the public becomes about the suffering of circus animals and the serious safety issues involved with using dangerous animals in performances, the less inclined they will be to support, promote, employ and attend circuses that abuse and exploit animals.
kevin sullivan August 04, 2012 at 08:11 PM
" chang laid down like he was taking a break from the active style of show business" a more accurate description would be "chang was pulled from his trailer by the trunk with a bullhook into the dangerously high temps and sun while laying on the ground from heat exhaustion as firemen took photo ops" . i could care less if any of you call me a peta member (which i am not) . i just think its a damn shame to give intelligent , family orientated creatures like these a life of misery. cole bros can well afford to just pay the $15,000 fine they are making good money. its like they write off misery as a business expense and keep on doing business as usual.
ERIN August 04, 2012 at 09:16 PM
You are correct Kevin Sullivan i just looked online and the Cole Brothers circus has many animal cruelty violations and did just pay a $15,000 fine to the usda. Its a shame the lacey fire dept potrays this as fun when this circus was just fined in june for denying vet care for their animals as well as a long list of violations.
Paul C. August 04, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Has anyone thought about the life that circus elephants have? Elephants are not a domesticated animal like the horse or dog, they cannot be trained with "treats". Pain is the method, bull hooks and electric shock and crush boxes. This is a miserable life for them. If you go to a circus, remember the suffering these majestic animals go through for your entertainment
Peter Mc Cormack August 05, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Great Cole Bros. isnt even allowed to own animals anymore so they lease them from other circuses that beat their animals.? How did lacey township fire dept get involved with them in the first place ?
patricia doyle August 05, 2012 at 01:01 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with Elaine and the other commentators. It is time to stand up and speak against the "darker side" of circuses. I also agree that our Fire Department is fantastic and does need to fund raise, just not in this manner. I will add my name to the list of people offering to volunteer our time to fund raising in a way that is humane,
Winston Smith August 05, 2012 at 01:28 PM
WOW! For the first time Im proud of my fellow Lacey residents due to the comments on this thread. Lets please get together next year and stop this traveling exibit of suffering coming to our town once and for all! I agree with the carnivale idea for the FD to raise money. We cant be nasty about this. We have to talk to the fireman and make them understand and raise awareness. Im sure most of them are dog lovers and have children they will listen if approched correctly
jay August 05, 2012 at 03:10 PM
The same comment over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. We get Iraq st least I get it they beat there animals and were fined 15 grand by the usda.
paul rodgers August 05, 2012 at 04:29 PM
congrats jay you can read. now maybe you will understand it too. tommorrow monday aug 6th from 4 to 8 pm there will be a demonstration in the seaside hts municipal parking lot asking for cole bros to end their greed for misery tour in this area. tom c the firemen could care less . they,ve been sent e mails about the many violations last year and they never replied to anyone who sent them an e mail. as long as they make money from it they dont think twice about it.
paul rodgers August 05, 2012 at 04:30 PM
carnivals are better for the kids. there are rides and games for them.
Cj Ellie August 05, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Small circuses like Cole Bros and Kelly Miller Circus will often contact fire departments, Kiwanis, Lions Clubs or the local Chamber of Commerce. The circus calls offering them a chance to earn up to $9000. Depends on how many advance tickets the fire department or club can sell.
patricia doyle August 05, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Yes, Tom. We should not be nasty - we should try to work with them. I'm in if people want to get together on this.
JJS August 05, 2012 at 08:26 PM
well jay guess what, its time for people to give a damn about animals. you wanna live in a cage for the rest of your life? do you want to be beaten just for a few tricks for human entertainment? they have feelings, they feel pain, and they need to have rights. just because they cant tell us, "this hurts", doesnt mean you can take advantage of them
laceys_craziest August 05, 2012 at 10:18 PM
i took my daughter to the circus and WE LOVED IT.. i went last year and loved it... thanks lacey FD for having them AGAIN!!!
vicky leone August 06, 2012 at 01:46 AM
I understand the uproar but remember that some of these animals would be euthanized if the were nit taken in by the circus. Once a wild animal is rescued and can not be let back in the wild if no one is willing to take them in, what happens? I remember the joy I felt as a child seeing the circus. Please don't take that away from the children of lacy
BanCircusAnimals August 06, 2012 at 03:52 AM
@Jay: And we will continue to state the facts and advocate on behalf of these magnificent animals until circuses no longer employ, abuse, and exploit them.
Paul C. August 06, 2012 at 04:11 AM
There are many sanctuaries that will take these animals. They have a life of absolute misery because you want to be entertained?? Do you think they like performing stupid tricks for you? Chained in horrible conditions, beaten with bull hooks, if you knew what happens behind the scenes to these animals, when no one is looking, you would be horrified. I was...
BanCircusAnimals August 06, 2012 at 06:40 AM
These are not “wild” animals who were "rescued" and taken in by the circus. For example, in the United States tigers are bred for profit and spend years of captive life in roadside zoos/exhibits, circuses and pseudo-sanctuaries. Others are bred to produce more cubs, end up in canned hunts, or are killed and sold on the black market. Tiger cubs are used in money making scams like photo ops and hands-on exhibits. There are more captive tigers in the U.S. (est. 5,000 to 10,000) than left in the wild (est. 3200). There is no conservation value in privately breeding tigers. The only sanctioned tiger breeding program in the United States is the Species Survival Plan in which AZA accredited zoos participate. Circuses that utilize animals epitomize animal cruelty - not family entertainment. There is no educational value for children who see unnatural tricks performed by animals; it does not teach them the true nature of animals or to respect and appreciate them, only that it is acceptable to mistreat and exploit animals for entertainment purposes. For more information see: Four Reasons You Should Not Attend Animal Circuses: http://www.bornfreeusa.org/a1a2_circus.php
Cj Ellie August 06, 2012 at 09:36 AM
There are two elephant sanctuaries in the US that will gladly take any captive elephants and give them hundreds of acres to roam and a more natural life where there are no bullhooks and electric prods used on them to make them perform. PAWS in CA and The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. And for our kids’ sake, it’s time to throw animal-act circuses into the trash heap of degrading forms of entertainment, such as gladiator contests, blackface minstrel shows, bear baiting, bullfights — the list is endless — as well as freak shows, which were once essential parts of circuses and also worked to increase our credulity and dull our humanity. It’s time for us parents to get real about this issue, do what’s right for our kids and fight against the hype as well as our own nostalgia. http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/20/2599741/animal-act-circuses-not-good-for.html#storylink=cpy
patricia doyle August 06, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Thank you JJS - again, let's get together and work on this constructively for next year. Can someone create a Facebook page that we can connect with?
jim August 06, 2012 at 08:12 PM
so circuses like cole bros and others beat elephants and tigers with cattle prods and sharp bullhooks, deprive them of seeing a vet when they are underweight or ill and ship them around like old luggage in a miserable life. but hey as long as lacy crazy (more like lacey mental problem) and vicky leone got their kids away from their x boxes for a few hours for the pain entertainment then its so much worth it for these abused animals isnt it?
JJS August 07, 2012 at 08:46 PM
im sorry but letting children think that circuses are okay is not a good example. so we wouldnt be ruining anything for them. i cant wait for the day that all animal circuses will be banned.
laceys_craziest August 08, 2012 at 06:51 AM
hahahah yea good luck with that
laceys_craziest August 08, 2012 at 06:55 AM
im going to to tel u right now.. i used to work at the CARNIVAL.. guess what.. u will spent 3 or 4 time as much at the carnival then the circus.. that games are rigged so that u spend more money.. cotton candy..5 a bag or 7 for a large.. large drinks 4 .. games each a dollar or 2... a book of tickets 42 bucks.. if u got 3 kids.. each kid will go on a ride about 4 or 5 times.. i been there i kno
laceys_craziest August 08, 2012 at 06:55 AM
I LOVE THE CIRCUS
laceys_craziest August 08, 2012 at 07:00 AM
my CHILD dont not own a xbox..1 to little.. and 2 i NEVER had a xbox so my child wouldnt either.. ps im not that old... so... i never had more then a ps2 so dont open ur mouth please unless u know
Ellie August 08, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Shame on parents who ignore all the evidences of this circus animal abuse to keep the circus nostalgia alive for their children. If children knew the truth about the animals they love you wouldn't be able to drag a child to the Big Top.
JJS August 08, 2012 at 02:50 PM
@laceys_craziest well then have fun supporting animal cruelty. People like you are the reason i get so frustrated with the world. Honestly, humans these days are disgusting and cruel.

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